The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
Session 81
(Part 1 of 6)

Session No. 80

13 Tammuz 5721 (27 June 1961)

Presiding Judge: I declare the eightieth Session of the trial open. The Accused will continue with his testimony. I remind you that you are still testifying under oath.

Accused: I am aware of the fact.

Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, I was saying that I had received a communication from a witness with regard to the affair of the Lidice children - I have tried to obtain more information, and now I have received a sworn affidavit by a witness from Notary Public Merling in Bremen. I should like to submit this statement to the Court as an exhibit. Perhaps I might make one point - the children in question were Czech, and I have some doubts, therefore, as to whether the treatment of the affair is relevant here, since only the Jewish people - crimes against the Jewish People - are being tried before this Court.

Presiding Judge: I think the indictment contains a count which deals with the Lidice children, and therefore it does fall within the competence of this Court to hear the matter and to deal with it.

Dr. Servatius: I am aware that there is a count dealing with the matter.

Presiding Judge: Very well. Mr. Hausner, what is your view?

Attorney General: The declaration which the Defence has received is one of double-hearsay: The declarant Mrs. Freiberg, states that a woman, whose name is not given there, had told her that thirty children who had been seen in the area of Posen, in a place called Puszykowko, or in German Puschkau, were Lidice children. As I have already said, this is a double-hearsay statement, so it is not simply a question of accepting Mrs. Freiberg's affidavit, but Mrs. Freiberg herself cannot rely on her own knowledge, but only on what another woman said, whose name is not stated and the matter cannot be investigated.

However, I do not object to the submission of this exhibit, although the exhibit can have only minimal value in terms of legal weight, if any. In this respect, if the Court accepts the exhibit, I shall on my part request the Court to accept a publication of the Organization of Anti-Fascist Combatants on the same subject.

Presiding Judge: Let us first deal with this matter, and then you can pass on to the second matter.

Attorney General: Certainly. Dr. Servatius, may I have the witness' name, please?

Dr. Servatius: The affidavit shows her to be Waldtraut Elise Freiburg, born in Riga, 17 March 1907, resident in Bremen, Karl Goerdelerstrasse 2.

Your Honour, I am aware that this exhibit has weak evidential value, but I have submitted it because of the urgency of the matter, so that if necessary I will have time to summon this witness, and examine her before the end of the proceedings. Then she will also have to state who the person in question is from whom she heard about the matter. Here she says: "...I am still corresponding with this woman" - she may have special reasons for not giving the name.

Presiding Judge:

Decision No. 86

We accept the affidavit by Mrs. Freiberg as evidence. The Attorney General has no objections.

I mark the exhibit number N/19.

Dr. Servatius: Perhaps I can read the main part of the affidavit to the Court. The witness made the following statement under oath:

"From 1941 until I fled on 20 January 1945, I lived in Puszykowko, known as Puschkau in German, near Posen, and every day I saw thirty or so children from Lidice, who were either going to school in neighbouring Puszykow, known in German as Unterberg, or were playing in the large garden of the convent under the supervision of a young lady. The lady in charge of the children told us that they were children from Lidice whose parents had been shot. I talked to this lady quite often, and she would sometimes make phone calls from my home. When we had to flee, the lady came to my home, totally desperate, not sure what would happen to the children with the arrival of the Russians. She phoned the government in Posen, and was told that she should look after the German people and leave the children to their fate. The children were dressed like orphans, but were clean and neat. The children I saw were aged roughly four to eleven. I do not know what happened to them subsequently. It would be possible to enquire of the Polish governess, with whom I still correspond, where the children went after the arrival of the Russians."
Then there is the form of oath.

Attorney General: If it please the Court, I have evidence which I shall have to submit as rebutting evidence when my turn will come. But if the Court wishes to hear me now, I should appreciate that, and then the chapter of the Lidice children and the documents pertaining to it will be before the Court in their entirety.

I have a declaration from Dr. Eliahu Livneh, head of the Israeli Mission in Prague, who indicates that in connection with the fate of the Lidice children he was referred by Dr. Rudolf Kosucnik, a Departmental Head in the Czech Foreign Ministry, to a book published in Prague in 1949. On page 79 of the book...

Presiding Judge: What was the name of the book?

Attorney General: Zdu cmabaru Luduze.

Presiding Judge: What does that mean?

Attorney General: "This Was Lidice." The book was published by the Organization of Anti-Fascist Combatants - the organization responsible for all such matters. The statement is dated 19 June 1961.

I should like to point out to the Court that we have submitted the deposition by Hanfova which gave certain numbers as well as certain names of the Lidice children; while Affidavit N/19 is extremely general and just mentions the figure of thirty children, without giving names. The book gives numbers and names, and there is a statement as to the final fate of the children in a more detailed way.

Presiding Judge: What do you mean by statement? What is it based on? According to what testimony?

Attorney General: Based on information which was collected, and on the basis of the fact that these children were never seen alive again, and on the basis of testimony from the children who were saved.

Presiding Judge: And what can the man whose testimony was taken by our Consul say about the contents of this book?

Attorney General: Not his testimony. He is an official of the Czech Foreign Ministry, and our Head of Mission in Prague was directed by that man, whose name I have given, Dr. Kosucnik, to this book as an authentic book on the Lidice affair. That is all he was able to say. He also said that the publisher of this book was the authorized institute for collection of information in this matter - the Organization of Anti-Fascist Combatants.

Presiding Judge: And what did the book say? That the children disappeared? Or that the children were killed?

Attorney General: The children were gassed in Chelmno, eighty-two children, listed by name and date of birth. It also refers to the children who were born to Lidice women after the destruction of Lidice. If the Court recalls - the women were imprisoned in a concentration camp, and the men were killed on the spot. Some of the women bore children. The fate of the children after the disaster is given in detail: the fate of the children who were given to German families - for Germanization, as the phrase goes. There is a detailed list of names here. This is significant corroboration to the Hanfova testimony.

Presiding Judge: Why are you only now asking for this to be submitted?

Attorney General: Firstly, we have only just received this. The Court will remember that we intimated that we were applying for additional information, and we did so. And secondly, we believe that since there is now a statement about thirty children, without any details, it is our right to refute this testimony by the testimony of the institute on which the official Ministry in Prague relies, a document which is detailed and confirmed testimony which we have already submitted to the Court.

With the Court's permission - and I would apologize, since the document really arrived at the last moment - I see here if from my knowledge of Polish I understand the Czech language sufficiently, that there is a reference to Pusczykow, in other words the place referred to in Mrs. Freiberg's testimony.

Presiding Judge: What does it say about it?

Attorney General: Perhaps I can ask Dr. Robinson, who is conversant with two dozen languages, to translate this passage for us on the spot?

Presiding Judge: Let Dr. Robinson tell you what the content is. And in the meanwhile we will hear what Dr. Servatius has to say.

Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, it is my view that this document contains nothing new. The details provided by the names come from German documents. Since the parents were shot, there is no other possible source for the names, and therefore they do not provide any new insight. As to the decisive point of what became of the children, that they were apparently killed in Chelmno is only referred to in the document as what is said to have happened... But there is no proof in the document, none at all.

Presiding Judge: Has this now been clarified?

Attorney General: In the meanwhile we have discovered that one of the seven children who were handed over for Germanization - Waclaw Zelenka - was in Pusczykow as related in the book, and from there he was returned to his native country, Czechoslovakia, in 1947. I think this may be important to shed light on the statement which has now been submitted and refers to thirty children.

Judge Halevi: Testimony could be taken from this child. Today he is no longer a child, of course.

Attorney General: That is possible. As I have said, in any case this is important as corroboration for Anna Hanfova's testimony, insofar as this is allegedly refuted by the declaration submitted just now.

Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, I have not seen the book yet. And before the Court takes a decision, I must have the opportunity to look through it and perhaps have a translation of the decisive passages made available. I do understand a little of Slav languages, but I do not understand Czech.

Presiding Judge: We shall return to this matter at the end of the case for the Defence, if the Attorney General should then wish to raise the matter again. Of course, meanwhile you will allow Counsel for the Defence to see the documents.

Attorney General: Of course.

Presiding Judge: So let us now continue with the testimony of the Accused.

Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, I should like first to submit some tables about organization which refer to Germany but also extends to the other countries. I believe it would be expedient to have them available now, in order to be able to peruse them as required.

One plan has already been submitted. The Accused has drawn my attention to the fact that the draftsman has drawn an incorrect line which could be of importance. On the last page, there is a dotted line indicating a connection from the Higher SS Police Leader to the Command Staff of the Security Police Security Service. It should have been a continuous line with an arrow.

Presiding Judge: Is that N/3? Where is it, which part of this table, A, B or C?

Dr. Servatius: Yes, it is in part C. The line from the Higher SS and Police Leader marked in red to the Commander of the SIP and SD marked in blue, a continuous line with an arrow.

Presiding Judge: All right, please proceed.

Dr. Servatius: I should now like to present a table prepared by the Accused about the chains of command, the subordinate and superior relationships, and the positions of the various offices and authorities involved.

Witness, did you prepare this table and is it correct?

Accused: I prepared the table, and it was then copied according to my table.

Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, I shall submit a further copy; so far that has not been possible for technical reasons.

Presiding Judge: Very well. I mark this exhibit N/20.

Dr. Servatius: This shows the following: Chief of the Security Police and the Security Service is the department marked in red, then the Foreign Ministry, which is the opposite number here, is marked in blue. I do not wish to discuss this in detail now, it is necessary to study this drawing in depth.

Presiding Judge: I see something which looks remarkably like a snake biting itself somewhere along the line - what is that supposed to be?

Dr. Servatius: Yes, that struck me also - it is the route taken by files: if you look at the explanation of the names, it says it is the route for IVB4 files in accordance with the orders issued, upwards and the Foreign Ministry, von Thadden's section etc., in other words the files enter and return there.

Presiding Judge: All right, we shall study that.

Dr. Servatius: Then there is another table - chains of command in the organization of the Security Police, with special representation of Himmler's two functions. The functions are shown as Chief of Police and Reichsfuehrer- SS, as well as the functional role of the Higher SS and Police Leaders in the occupied territories. On this, the Accused says that in the Generalgouvernement, in occupied Russian territory, there was a special arrangement, with which I am not particularly familiar, and also in the Warthegau. I here refer you to the notes on the plan.

Witness, you have seen the table - did you draw it, and is it correct?

Accused: Yes, I drew it, and it is correct.

Presiding Judge: I mark this plan N/21.

Dr. Servatius: At the bottom of the chart it says: "Minor errors excepted for the sake of precaution"; does that mean that there is some doubt as to its accuracy?

Accused: Essentially not at all, but in such a drawing what can happen, as I have just seen, is that instead of a continuous line, there is a dotted line, but those are minor details which can be rectified. That is what I meant by "minor errors excepted for the sake of precaution."

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